"I'm not photogenic."
"You'll have your work cut out for you when you photograph us!"
"I apologize in advance. We take terrible pictures."
"By the way, I will need Photoshopping."
- Love, a lot of people
We were standing on the beach, sand between our toes, the wind ripping at her hair--she, a beautiful accomplished woman, rueful smile tugging at her lips, dress dancing in the wind. Unmistakable, raw beauty is exuding from every pore of her being, and yet she believes, like many of us do, that she isn't photogenic.
Gaaaahahhhhhh. I feel you, girl.
I can't blow these comments off or minimize them, because I, too, feel so helpless in front of the camera. In my more vulnerable moments, I see my body in pieces: my arms are their own planet, my face is a pile of parts, my smile is a thing and not an emotion. I sometimes don't see the person that is clearly loved by my family and friends--I see a disconnected set of nouns that make up a body.
Cameras are uniquely qualified to see all these things, too.
It's the people wielding them, the real lens of their eyes, that brings love and truth to a photograph.
I've realized after years of hearing and feeling this unworthiness, the only proof I can offer will come later in that image. It isn't some kind of Camera Black Magic (or Photoshop), either. It's love. And it's a huge part of why I do what I do-- an image can completely transform how we feel about ourselves. It's certainly done that for me--many, many times.
The only way out is through. Be photographed. Don't hide. Feel loved. Dispense with this utter crap about being "unphotogenic". You are enough, and you are beautiful and utterly irreplaceable to everyone who matters. You are a story, and that story needs to be told, and remembered. For you, for them, and for the sheer joy of it.